The Hareís Dream
Own label REYNCD02; 46 minutes; 2005
This quartet apparently hails from Drogheda, though the only reason I know such is that Finbar Boyle mentioned said fact in a recent Claddagh newsletter and, being a Louth man himself, he should know. Also, apparently this is the bandís debut album, so one must assume that REYNCD01 was a single.
Anyway, as mentioned, the band is a four-piece and consists of Neil McAvinia (vocals and guitars), Aideen Morrissey (vocals, cello and harp), Kevin Branigan (vocals and fiddle) and Garret Brady (guitar, vocals and harmonica) and their album was produced by John Faulkner (who also adds his own bouzouki and fiddle on one track each respectively).
Listening to The Hareís Dream is very much a nostalgic experience, not that these are archive recordings, but because the bandís choice of material and arrangements very much references a past populated by the likes of Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Michael Chapman and Keith Christmas.
Sure, there is some new material here, such as All for the Love of You, written by Gerry Cullen of The Voice Squad, but much, indeed very much, of The Hareís Dream sounds astonishingly dated, as if some Ďlostí Irish band from the early 1970s (Mellow Candle springs instantly to mind) had suddenly resurfaced to public view via the issue of previously unreleased demo tapes.
Letís face it, the world does not need another version of Gordon Lightfootís Early Morning Rain and much of the rest of the album is far too rooted in a previous era and cries out for a decent singer (and a fiddler who doesnít sound as though he last saw rosin a decade ago). Then thereís an attempt at the blues, Crow Jane, which leads one to suggest that the gun laws are far too liberal in Ireland.
This is not just an album to avoid, but to hurl with venom into the deepest ditch, if you havenít already fallen into catatonia during the listening process.
13th August, 2005
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